Monday, July 30, 2012

This One's About Italo

This one is about my son, Italo. This is not a knock on my son, Marco, or daughter, Madeleina. No, this one is just to celebrate Italo.

After I came home to find the AC not fixed, among other things, and then got really really sick for a few days, I had some time and so did Italo. He was as pissed off as I at the thought that the people who'd come to fix the attic AC unit had said it would be $3,700--especially when we looked up the units and saw that they ran, new, from $500-$1,200 for the very very top of the line. Heck, the condenser is outside in the stand up unit so the attic unit has coils, relay switches, a fan, a pan to collect condensed water and a tube that runs to and through the outer wall of the house to release that water.
So he decided to try his hand at it. Well, he fell through the ceiling into Marco's old room, which was a pain in the neck, but gave him great access to the fan/fan motor and relay switches, so he worked from there. He yanked the fan and its motor and housing and off we went to a local store and for about $257 bought all that new. Then he installed it with a little help from me, but mostly it was his work.
Unfortunately, the unit still didn't work. So we called an AC guy--a different one from the one I've used in the past, the one who wanted the $3,700 for the $500-$1,200 unit--and had him take a look. Turned out one of the relay switches was out. He went home, got one, came back, installed it. Still didn't work.
So he took a look at the thermostat and guess what? Of the three wires there, one had been put in a position that was a wrong position. Who could have done that? The guy trying to sell the whole unit? Could be, cause he was the only one touched that thermostat.
Then the thing worked. Worked like new. Took some hours to drop from 102--the temp at which we turned it on--to a pleasant 72, but it got there and I wound up having to use a light blanket.
Today, Italo came to close the hole in Marco's old room's ceiling. He left lots of plaster on the floor so I trailed behind him, scraping it up and cleaning the kitchen and hallway tiles. But as I was cleaning up I realized I was getting dripped on. Through the kitchen ceiling. So we turned off the AC and up he climbed. Guess what? Someone had moved the drip pan, the pan that collects the condensed water and sends it out the tube outside, so that the water could not collect in the pan.
Now I know Italo didn't do that because he worked from the hole in Marco's ceiling through the back of the unit. Which leaves whom? Ah, yes, the fellow who said we needed a whole new unit.
Well, Italo got it squared away, checked for leaks in the pan, made sure the tube running to the outside of the house was working and now we're back in business.
So someone tried to job us. Tried to get us to pay $3,700 for a unit we don't think we need. They said the coils were shot but they seem fine. They said the motor was shot but it worked great until he showed up to find out why it was putting out hot air instead of cold (I thought it just needed freon). Turned out it didn't even need freon. But the sabotage, well, I'm not happy about that. Changing wire positions, moving a pan nearly a foot off center--heck, these guys are pros. I could make those mistakes but they shouldn't. I'm not even thinking they were mistakes. I think it was deliberate.
But my kid, my Italo, he's a pitbull when he decides he wants to fix something. And it's done. And he did it. And if it turns out we still need a whole unit, well, even adding $600 or so for the unit to the $500 we've put into it we'll still save $2600.
I'm gonna owe my son a new set of tires for that.
Way to go, Italo. Thanks for being my kid.

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